Synopses & Reviews
When the Atlas of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
appeared in 1983 critics hailed it as a publishing landmark in western history. The second volume, which began the actual journals, fully lived up to the promise of the first. This eagerly awaited third volume continues the journals of explorers whose epic trail-blazing still excites the imagination.
Instructed by President Jefferson to keep meticulous records bearing on the geography, ethnology, and natural history of the trans-Mississippi West, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and four of their men filled hundreds of notebook pages with observations during their expedition of 1804-6. The result was and is a national treasure: a complete look at the Great Plains, the Rockies, and the Pacific Northwest, reported by men who were intelligent and well prepared, at a time when almost nothing was known about those regions so newly acquired in the Louisiana Purchase.
Volume 3 consists of the journals during the expedition's route from the Vermillion River to Fort Mandan, North Dakota, and their winter encampment there. It describes their encounters with Sioux, Arikara, Mandan, and Hidatsa Indians, including considerable ethnographic material on these tribes. Some miscellaneous documents containing information gathered during the first year of the expedition, originally published in a separate volume, are here brought together in an appropriate chronological sequence.
Superseding the last edition, published early in this century, the current edition contains new materials discovered since then. It greatly expands and updates the annotation to take account of the most recent scholarship on the many subjects touched on by the journals.
"Meticulously edited, with detailed (and absolutely necessary) footnotes, these volumes are a triumph of scholarly publishing....One version or another belongs on most readers' shelves and should accompany any road trip through the West." Atlantic Monthly
"Lewis and Clark loom over the narrative literature of the West as the Rockies loom over the rivers that run through them. These Journals are to the narrative of the American West as the Iliad is to the epic or as Don Quixote is to the novel: a first exemplar so great as to contain in embryo the genre's full potential. The narrative writing about the West that came before Lewis and Clark seems fragmentary and slight; what came after them seems insipid and slight, lacking both the scale and the force of those Journals." Larry McMurtry, The New York Review of Books
"[This edition] stands as one of the great accomplishments of American scholarship and scholarly publishing alike. The work of historian Gary Moulton and a team of some three dozen specialists working through the University of Nebraska's Center for Great Plains Studies with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the 13-volume Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was published by the University of Nebraska Press from 1983 to 2001." Gregory McNamee, Washington Post Book World
"Moulton not only edited the transcriptions of the journal entries; he also provided a detailed index and oversaw a team of consultants who provided expert annotations on botany, zoology, astronomy, archaeology, linguists and medicine. As a result, readers can understand the expedition in its full context. It's no wonder that the series has received many plaudits." Omaha World Herald
"A significant project in scholarly publishing and western historiography." Pacific Northwest Quarterly
"One of the most noteworthy ventures in historical publishing." Persimmon Hill
"This is a project of lasting importance and influence." James P. Ronda, author of Lewis and Clark Among the Indians
"Those interested in the Lewis and Clark Expedition in particular and western history in general can look forward to the completion of the Journals series...a milestone as important in its way as the great exploration of Lewis and Clark." John Logan Allen, author of Passage through the Garden: Lewis and Clark and the Image of the American Northwest
About the Author
Gary E. Moulton is Thomas C. Sorensen Professor of American History at the University of Nebraska and recipient of the J. Franklin Jameson Award of the American Historical Association for the editing of these journals.
Table of Contents
List of Figures, vi
Editorial Symbols and Abbreviations, viii
Special Symbols of Lewis and Clark, viii
Common Abbreviations of Lewis and Clark, ix
Introduction to Volume 3, 1
Chapter 6: From the Vermillion to the Teton River, August 25September 24, 1804, 7
Chapter 7: From the Teton River to the Mandans, September 25October 26, 1804, 111
Chapter 8: Among the Mandans, October 27December 27, 1804, 203
Chapter 9: Among the Mandans, December 28, 1804April 6, 1805, 263
Chapter 10: Fort Mandan Miscellany, 333
Sources Cited, 507